Hillsborough County

Police: 150 people trespass in Tampa park playing Pokemon Go, one refuses to leave

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -- Tampa Police say 150 people were caught trespassing in Ballast Point Park after closing time. Police responded to the complaint around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.

When officers arrived they say the large group was in the park playing the virtual game Pokemon Go. Everyone was told to leave and all complied except for 20-year-old David Mastrototaro.

Police say they asked Mastrototaro to leave the park several times, but he refused. When officers tried to arrest him for trespassing, he allegedly grabbed an officer's arm and pushed off. He continued to resist, almost pulling one officer to the ground, police say, causing the officer to deploy his Taser in order to arrest him.

Mastrototaro is charged with trespassing after warning and resisting arrest. News Channel 8 spoke with his mother about the arrest. She is upset about what happened. "I swear i wish i could sue Pokemon for this, this is crazy. I mean my son is now facing felony charges for pushing a cop off him, cause the cop didn't tell him what he was getting arrested for," said Michelle Mastrototaro.

"I understand my son was mouthing off saying something he shouldn't have to said him, but he was in the car, they put him in the car. The cops still had to stay right there to bother him and they took him out of the car and stood him over to the next car, and they tried to arrest him and he was like, 'Get off me! Get off me!' and that's when that happened. They said he pushed, he didn't push the guy," she added.

Pokemon Go players are reminded of a few simple safety tips:
  1. Pay attention to your surroundings while playing (i.e. lookup, don't walk into traffic).
  2. Keep in mind that not everyone is playing the game so don't trespass on private property or enter restricted areas (like City parks after closing time).
  3. If you're playing at night, be sure to be visible.
  4. Be cautious of strangers.
  5. Don't play while driving!
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